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Swann's Way

The Intimidating Book Club attempted to read In Search of Lost Time in its entirety

Spoiler: We made it through Swann's Way and In a Budding Grove

For some devoted enthusiasts, 2022 was a year focused on time. But not just any garden variety sort of time. Rather, the type of time that preoccupied some readers last year was described in terms so rich, so carefully detailed, that it read like a literary brocade (were such a thing to exist). It was the type of time that was excruciatingly baroque -- at least in style, if not in era. It was a type of time that is an all-absorbing, exhausting, long, and terribly precise affair. Indeed, time of this sort has daunted, if not outright defeated, many people over the years.

Kang_The White Book_Front Cover

Genre-Bending!

Books that defy labels

What makes a novel? A poetry collection? A memoir?  The following books defy classification. They dare librarians to place them in fiction rather than poetry, or with the biographies instead of the short stories. Regardless of where we put them on the shelf, these books are interesting and dynamic and they will test the limits of your imagination. 

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The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books 7-9

When intoxication and confessions intertwine, results can be mixed -- but, honestly, results usually aren’t good. With inhibitions lowered, you may accidentally-on-purpose reveal to your stamp-hating compatriots that you’ve been an ardent philatelist all along.

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The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books 10-11

Are eyeglasses Satanic? Surely not! But perhaps the narrator in The Brothers Karamazov thinks so.

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The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books XII-Epilogue

We devoted and sometimes not-so-gentle readers of The Intimidating Book Club are neither too proud nor afraid to ask ourselves the hard questions while we do our reading: Why is War and Peace so long? What is George Eliot’s real name? Isn’t Don Quixote super annoying?

Shakespeare Comedies.

Shakespeare Society: Twelfth Night

What appeals to you -- Netflix and chill or Amazon Prime and commitment? Whatever your choice, either preference reveals a risk for excess and indolence. Binge watching all eleven seasons of The Walking Dead with your sweetheart may sound like a relaxing good time, but it’s also a recipe for deep vein thrombosis and a couch full of potato chip crumbs.

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Shakespeare Society: The Merchant of Venice

How do you define The Good? Portia, from The Merchant of Venice, takes a gander at this question that has preoccupied, and has arguably eluded, philosophers for millennia: “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do," she observes, "chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.”  Knowing good vs. doing good -- and if you're able to apply this knowledge into action, why on earth would there ever be a disconnect? (That is a rhetorical question, by the way.)

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Shakespeare Society: All's Well That Ends Well

When was the last time you swore? No, not with those choice, largely unprintable four-letter words uttered when you realize that you forget your wallet after a fancy dinner or step on a Lego in the middle of the night.

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The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books IV-VI

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ fasts for forty days and forty nights, a feat that, in and of itself, requires at least some modicum of superhuman strength. What I find more extraordinary, however -- indeed, this is the most extraordinary, superhuman thing -- is when Jesus resists the temptation to "stick it" to his nemesis. "If you're as great as you claim," the devil essentially says, "turn these stones into bread."

Stranded with a Billionaire by Jessica Clare

How To: Marry a Billionaire

As the federal government continues to figure out a way that they will not run out of money, this is the perfect time to reflect on your own financial situation. Do you have enough money to pay your bills this month, this year, for the rest of your life? Well, a perfect way to make sure you do is to marry a billionaire.

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